Friday, March 2, 2012

I'm working on a project, but I need your help

Dishes with Oysters and Sweetmeats, Osias Beert, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC c.1615

I'm starting off this post a little differently than I normally would, but stick with me, it's going somewhere. I saw this painting in 2001 at the National Gallery. I discussed the very same painting in my final paper as an Art History major which dealt with pronkstilleven, or excessively ornate still life. I'll spare you the details, you can read more about the genre here if you're so inclined, but I chose the subject matter because we didn't cover it in during the semester. I have always been drawn to subjects that are not researched by others. My teacher, who was also my adviser and focused his studies on Dutch Art, was highly impressed with my paper and he promised me that next time he taught the class he would include a section on pronkstilleven, which is one of the greatest compliments I could have received. Although impressed with my research and arguments, he made a completely accurate observation. He told me I ran out of steam.

Like many others of my generation, I am a procrastinator. My final semester of college wasn't easy and my head definitely wasn't in the game as far as this paper was concerned. I did my research and had all sorts of notes, but I couldn't get myself focused enough to sit down and write the damn thing. I'll admit now that which I never ever would have told my adviser because it would have broken his heart: I wrote the entire 14 page paper the night before it was due.

So where am I going with this?

How often do we write these days? Would you ever consider writing about something willingly, in the same fashion as you were once forced to do in high school and college? How many people, other than reporters and journalists, still do research on a topic to be able to write a well informed piece? I try my best to include sources of information in my blog posts because that was drilled into my brain in school. Did you just automatically think of the different styles of citation like I did? APA, MLA, Chicago. AHHHHHHHHH!

Last week, I blogged about my frustrations on not being able to purchase concert tickets. I often jot down notes on topics I want to talk about. Sometimes, these topics pan out to a larger post and sometimes they don't. I've been doing research on the subject of ticket brokers, the cost of touring and how bands make money. I feel very strongly about this subject; so much so, I'm contemplating writing something similar to a research paper on it. And here's the problem: Where do you go to research a topic that is happening now? The internet is a wealth of information, however, very little of it is a reputable source. You can't back facts with someone's opinion and expect to be taken seriously. There only seems to be one solution, which is a lot of leg work on my end, but I'm willing to give it a shot. Of course, I would love any help my readers are willing to give me.

I'm looking for anyone that is in the artistic community to talk to. Are you a musician?  Do you work for a concert venue? Are you a ticket broker or do you work for one? Have you had an experience where you ended up spending way more than the asking price to attend an event, concert, sports, anything? Would you be willing to talk about it? If so, please send me an email at with something in the subject line about the blog post. (Please note this is different than my business email, potential clients.)

And if you can't contribute to the research portion of this project, feel free to encourage/harass me on the progress of it. I know some of you are really good at that, and I appreciate it more than you'll ever know. I feel like this is something that is going to take several weeks to accomplish, which kinda goes against the whole idea of blogging. Balancing instant gratification with a well thought out and properly researched blog post could be fun.

Just don't let me run out of steam!

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